Tag Archives: joe miller

Miller ‘expressed disbelief’ over Club for Growth’s endorsement of Sullivan for Senate

GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller “expressed disbelief” over the Club for Growth’s endorsement of candidate Dan Sullivan on Tuesday. “Dan Sullivan is just another big government crony capitalist,” Miller wrote.

Miller, Sullivan and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell are all running to be the Republican nominee to run against Sen. Mark Begich in the general election. The Club for Growth, a powerhouse, fiscally conservative group, announced its endorsement on Tuesday, calling Sullivan a “fiscal conservative with a stellar track record in Alaska.”

In his response, which is in full below, Miller listed numerous people who donated to Sullivan’s campaign who Miller says are the “architects of the Big Bank and Wall Street Bailouts.” He also says that Sullivan supports the climate change “scam” and international welfare, presumably when Sullivan was an assistant secretary of state under Condoleezza Rice.

Indeed, Sullivan is more of an establishment conservative than those the Club usually endorses, among them Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeff Flake and a bevy of right wing Republicans in the House. In contrast, Sullivan’s endorsement appears more practical than ideological, which makes Miller bristle.

“It is unfortunate that Club for Growth would insert themselves into a contested primary to work against advocates of the free market,” Miller said. “But I never expected to be K Street’s candidate. We won the 2010 primary without their help, and we expect to do it again.”

The Club for Growth endorsed Miller in 2010 against sitting Sen. Lisa Murkowski. However, it did so only after Miller won the primary, and there was some talk at the time they the group didn’t follow through with the money and support that was expected after the endorsement.

The group also endorsed now-Gov. Sean Parnell in 2008 over Rep. Don Young, who called them “one of the most extreme groups in Washington D.C.”

A few things to note: Although he’s filed the paperwork, Miller has yet to officially announce his candidacy. Too, he’s been comparatively silent on the campaign trail and if he’s been actively raising money, he began after the last FEC report was due.

The last reports show Miller only raising $30,490 in the last quarter. However, he had leftover funds from his 2010 run, beginning the year with $426,783 and ending with $231,705.

Treadwell ended the year with $90,000 in cash and $141,000 in debt. Of the three, Sullivan has by far proven to be the best fundraiser, raising nearly $1.25 million in the last quarter alone.

The Democratic incumbent, Sen. Begich ended the year with $2.8 million cash on hand, and has been relentlessly fundraising.

Sullivan’s fundraising success no doubt played into the Club’s decision to endorse so early.

There’s been no reaction yet from the Treadwell campaign, who perhaps had the most to lose with the endorsement. Miller has at least the potential to have another 2010 “movement” type following, if he chooses to tap into it. Treadwell has been trying to argue that he was the true conservative in the race, an argument that will be more difficult to make now.

Here’s Miller’s release in full:

Joe Miller expressed disbelief at the Washington-based Club for Growth’s endorsement of Dan Sullivan in the Alaska senate race earlier today.

“It is unfortunate that Club for Growth would insert themselves into a contested primary to work against advocates of the free market,” Miller said. “But I never expected to be K Street’s candidate. We won the 2010 primary without their help, and we expect to do it again.

“National media has been quick to point out the group’s support of Joe Miller’s candidacy in 2010, but Club for Growth declined to endorse Miller against the most liberal Republican Senator seeking re-election that year. Only after Miller’s stunning primary victory did he receive an endorsement for his run against Democrat Scott McAdams.

Miller continued, “We are undeterred. This is not a time for fair weather friends and sunshine patriots. I am not surprised that an organization thousands of miles from Alaska, inside the Washington DC bubble, may see things differently than the folks on the ground.”

The Miller campaign would like to offer a constructive piece of advice. It may be a good idea to vet candidates before throwing one’s reputation away. It is regrettable that Club for Growth would cast their vote for the status quo. Dan Sullivan is just another big government crony capitalist.

Had they done their homework they would have known that Dan Sullivan’s campaign is funded by international finance – to include former President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick; President and CEO of the International Institute of Finance Timothy Adams; former Chairman of the Board of the New York Federal Reserve Stephan Friedman; the wife of former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson; Jeffery Reuben III, CEO of Rockefeller and Company; numerous Goldman Sachs executives; George W. Bush’s Chief of Staff Josh Bolton, etc. In other words, many of the architects of the Big Bank and Wall Street Bailouts that Club for Growth claims to oppose.

In addition to his ties to corporate welfare, Sullivan has clearly supported international welfare and the international community’s shakedown of American taxpayers for billions for the “climate change” scam, and more . . .

“I know my candidacy will not have the backing of Wall Street or K Street. It will also not have the support of the party elite in Washington or in Alaska. To curry favor with the Establishment is not why I am running for U.S. Senate,” said Miller. “I am running because I believe our nation has reached a critical juncture. As I travel the state, I am stirred with hope, because people throughout Alaska get it. They know the path we are on leads to the downfall of our nation, and they want real change, real reform. With their support on Election Day, I will bring their voice and their vote to our nation’s capital.”

Joe Miller is a husband, father, combat veteran, businessman, and advocate for constitutional liberty, who believes in limited government, individual rights, private property, free markets, and the Right to life.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoye@yahoo.com


The week in Alaska politics: Lily Stevens speaks out, Parnell charms and oilies don’t.

From my column that was published in the Anchorage Daily News on Sunday:

Republicans in their finery gathered a week ago Saturday night at the Bridge Restaurant in Anchorage to celebrate Lincoln Day, courtesy of the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club. All the usual suspects gathered: Gov. Sean Parnell, former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman, who — with a top hat and a fake beard — looks amazingly like Lincoln. Lt. Gov. and Senate candidate Mead Treadwell sat with the governor, while his primary opponent, Dan Sullivan, sat with Rev. Jerry Prevo and his lieutenant, Glenn Clary. Even Joe Miller, the third member of the primary faceoff, showed. A certain low-level buzz follows Miller wherever he goes. Blame it on magnetism. Star power. Black helicopters.

Whatever it is, this was the pleasant Joe Miller. And he was well-dressed, more than can be said for at least one other politician in the room. Apparently, someone told mayoral candidate Dan Coffey that because he co-owns the Alaska ACES and was in charge of the ACES auction item, he should dress in ACES super-fan regalia. The gold beads for the games of “heads and tails” rounded out the image.

“This is embarrassing,” he said as someone in a tux walked by.

Parnell introduced Lily Stevens, daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, as the keynote speaker. Before that, if someone had told me Parnell could melt hearts, I’d have said the pot campaign must be going well. But there was a collective sigh when he quoted Lincoln: “(I)f all that has been said by orators and poets, since the creation of the world, in praise of women were applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice.”

Even Judy Eledge, one of the Alaska GOP’s grande dames, who’s likely heard all the praise and other things that a woman could hear, seemed to flutter.

Then it was Lily’s turn. The room erupted when she said, “I’m not going to mince words, my father should have never lost his seat.”

Another very different kind of fundraiser was held Thursday night at Cafe Del Mundo: This one for Anchorage Assembly candidate Pete Petersen, who used to be a Democratic state representative and doesn’t forget it. You can read all about what he did and what he would do if he were back in the House on his website.

Read the rest here. 

Contact Amanda Coyne at amanamcoyne@yahoo.com


Joe Miller drums up support in D.C.

The Daily Caller is reporting that Senate candidate Joe Miller spent some time in Washington, D.C. this week, drumming up support from “top” conservative leaders against his main Republican primary challengers Dan Sullivan and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.  He labeled both “establishment candidates” who are part of the “ruling class destroying the country,” he said, painting himself as the candidate who “reflects the will and the voice of the people.”

The real rub, however, seems to be that they both supported Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2010 in her write-in bid. Read much more here.


Martha McKenna: she’ll work hard to keep Begich in office

You’ll likely never meet her, see her face, or even hear her name, but one way or another, you’re going to be touched by Martha McKenna in the next year. According to Roll Call, McKenna will be leading the independent expenditure program for Senate Democrats in the 2014 race.

The independent expenditure, or IE, arm of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee controls tens of millions of dollars spent on Senate races each cycle, much of which will end up in the pockets of Alaska’s expanding media outlets.

In Alaska, the group will support U.S. Sen. Mark Begich against Republican challengers Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell and Dan Sullivan, who are running in the Republican primary.

Although a party’s IE can be effective, those kinds of expenditure groups haven’t received the kind of attention that the super PACs have received, which have fewer restrictions but cannot coordinate with a party. Often, as opposed to groups associated with a political party, super PACs are homespun and more nimble.

So far in Alaska’s Senate race, Jim Lottsfeldt is running a super PAC to support Begich. Art Hackney is running one to support former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan. Stephen Wackowski and Taylor Bickford are is running Mead Treadwell’s super PAC.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 

Correction: The original story said that Taylor Bickford was running Treadwell’s super PAC. That’s incorrect.


Government shutdown could cost Alaska up to $39 million

Using Moody’s Analytics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says that the recent government shutdown could cost Alaska as much as $39 million in lost wages, federal funds, and in impacts from lost federal contracts.

The 16-day federal government shutdown was at its heart a fight over the funding of Obamacare and affected, among other things, disability checks, veterans’ benefits, and federal lands and contracts.

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who is running in the U.S. Senate Republican primary, has been repeatedly calling for the repeal of Obamacare.  At one point Treadwell said that he would “stand” with the senators who were supporting the shutdown, and at other times said that he wouldn’t. Another candidate, Joe Miller, unequivocally supported it.

The DSCC called both of them “reckless,” and said that they were putting “partisanship ahead of Alaska.”

Former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan, who is also running in the Republican primary, has yet to address the issue. He declined to answer questions on the day that he announced his run on Oct. 15, the day before the shutdown ended.

Both Sens. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Democrat Mark Begich worked to end the impasse.

Alaska appears to be faring better than other states with a high federal presence. Washington D.C. is expected to be hit hardest, followed by Maryland and West Virginia.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Miller to Begich over delay in healthcare mandate: Welcome to ‘knucklehead’ club

Obamacare U.S. Sen. Mark Begich announced a change of heart about the healthcare law Thursday. In a statement, he said that given the problems with the federal exchange, he now supports extending the deadline to sign up for healthcare delaying the individual mandate until the public can actually use the website intended to be a portal for the insurance.

“I have repeatedly said this law is not perfect and have proposed changes to make it work for Alaska families and small businesses,” he said in a written statement. “Given the recent website issues, I also support extending open enrollment season. I want to work with the administration to ensure that individuals are not unfairly penalized if technical issues with the website continue.”

Begich is among a handful of moderate Democrats in “red states” who called for the delay. Most of them are up for reelection in 2014 and their seats are considered vulnerable.

The online exchanges, or marketplaces, are part of the new healthcare law and were intended to be the place where consumers, who didn’t have it as part of their employment, could buy affordable insurance. The law requires most Americans to have coverage by Jan. 1 or face a fine.

But as the senators pointed out, it’s absurd to fine people who don’t purchase something that they can’t purchase because they can’t for technical reasons. The White House hasn’t ruled out a delay.

Joe Miller, a Republican who hopes to take Begich’s seat, used the opportunity to take a shot at Begich.  In a release, Miller questioned if Begich was turning into one of the “knuckleheads” Begich has been criticizing in radio ads.

“Senator Begich called those who offered this compromise ‘a small band of knuckleheads’ who are ‘holding the country hostage over the health care law,’” Miller wrote.  “I am happy to learn that Senator Begich has taken off his rose-colored glasses long enough to see one of the glaring flaws of Obamacare. Interestingly enough, the senator promised the people of Alaska that the healthcare exchange would function like buying airline tickets on Expedia. Well, let’s just say that was a little overly optimistic.”

Indeed, only a handful of Alaskans, at most, have been able to sign up for the health care exchange, which is widely considered a disaster.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Dan Sullivan finally announces for U.S. Senate

In front of a crowd of about 60, former Alaska Attorney General and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan at long last announced that he’s running for U.S. Senate, a fact that took few by surprise. For months, rumors have been swirling about his impending run.

Sullivan will be taking on Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller in the Republican primary. The victor will then go on to try to beat Democratic Sen. Mark Begich. Miller issued a press release welcoming the competition and Sullivan into the race. Shortly after his speech, Alaska’s Democratic Party sent out a release trashing Sullivan, calling him an “establishment” candidate who has the “stamp of approval from Washington insiders.”

At the announcement, Sullivan billed himself as the candidate who was both experienced and optimistic. A Marine and the tough “fighter” who can beat U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in the general election. The one who sees Alaska’s future as one that will help the rest of the country grow. The father of three young girls and the husband who is in love with his Athabascan wife. The one who can be both simultaneously detached and engaged enough to display to the audience that illusive quality best known as “charm.”

During his speech, Sullivan touched on the general themes of this campaign, mostly about how the state can take the lead on what he called the country’s “energy renaissance,” but didn’t get specific. How would he help try to save the government from impending financial collapse? What about the shutdown? Where does he stand on the hot button social issues? How is he different from his Republican rivals?

The answers have to wait for another day. For all the months that Sullivan had to plan for the announcement, for all of his supposed “establishment” credentials —  including being a former U.S. assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush — apparently no planning went into answering media questions following his speech.

“There’s plenty of time to answering questions,” he said. “You know me,” he told members of the media. “I’ll answer your questions,” before walking away to talk to people in the crowd.

It’s true that since Sullivan took the job as attorney general in 2010, and then later as DNR commissioner, he’s been generally available to the media. The fact that he wasn’t on what could be the biggest day of his political career was puzzling.

Indeed, there’s time. The primary election is more than 9 months away. But one of the biggest issues for Sullivan will be differentiating himself from Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who is running for lieutenant governor. It also doesn’t help that there’s another Dan Sullivan in Arkansas who is also running for U.S. Senate against a Democratic incumbent, a state whose postal code often gets confused with Alaska’s.

When Bill Clinton was running for president, some of his mail ended up at the post office in Hope, Alaska instead of his hometown in Arkansas.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Begich holds fast with Democrats over shutdown

chess moveSince being elected in 2008, Sen. Mark Begich has often bumped heads with his Democratic Senate colleagues. He did so over gun control, for one. He’s repeatedly voted against environmental issues that Democrats have pushed for.

But now, he’s holding fast and true with his fellow Democrats who are blaming Republicans for shutting the federal government down over the funding of the Affordable Care Act, an act, it should be noted, that Congress passed, has been litigated up to the Supreme court, and has gone through an election cycle.

It’s also something that Alaskans are against, by and large, for now at least.

So why is Begich, who’s up for a tough reelection in 2014 sticking with the Dems on this? Principle no doubt plays into it. He likely truly believes that Republican entrenchment on this is wrong for the country. But Begich is nothing if not a political animal. He has one of the best political noses in the state, and the political winds he’s smelling are telling him that this one is a winner.

I couldn’t find anybody who’s polled on the shutdown in Alaska, but feelings here aren’t likely radically different than feelings across the country: no matter how much people object to the health care law, they have consistently told pollsters that they are not in favor of tying government operations to defunding the law. Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake probably put it best when he said, “Obamacare is not popular, but we’ve managed to find the one thing that’s less popular than Obamacare.”

Republican Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who’s running for Begich’s seat, believes otherwise, apparently. He has said that if he were elected, he would “stand” with those Republican senators most entrenched, senators that even Republican stalwarts like John McCain and Richard Burr, to name just a few, believe have gone too far.

He’s since walked some of that back, maybe, although it’s been hard figure out exactly where he stands. Indeed, Roll Call writer Stu Rothenberg, who interviewed four Republican Senate candidates about the shutdown, said that among all of them, Mead was the most “difficult to pin down.”

Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, who is also running, is not difficult to pin down. He’d fight to end the health care law for as long as they’d have him in the Senate.

Former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner, Dan Sullivan, who has for weeks dithered about running, may be the smartest of the three. He’s not answering questions about the mess. He doesn’t have to. For now, he’s a private citizen dithering away like the rest of us. And by the time he might have to, the worst will likely be over, and he’ll get to play statesman.

Begich is holding a telephonic town hall on the government shutdown on Wednesday evening. Expect strong words from him about entrenched Republicans. It’s a winner and he knows it.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.ccom 


Alaskan politicians playing games with our money and our health

19392277_mAs of October 1, the federal government is shut down. Driving the shutdown are some Republicans intent on repealing or delaying the Affordable Care Act. Come January roughly 66,000 Alaskans, some even with preexisting conditions, will be able to buy affordable health insurance on the private market for the first time ever.

That includes me. According to a broker, I’ll probably be paying about $500 a month for a plan with a $1200 deductible.

For me that’s a great deal. If not for the new health care law, I would be paying about $1500 a month for such insurance.

That’s a $1000 a month difference. That’s real money. That’s a mortgage. That’s money that can be used to support private Alaska businesses.

U.S. Rep. Don Young voted on Monday yet again to delay the program for a year. Senate hopeful Joe Miller would go further. He would repeal the whole thing. The other Republican hopeful, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell has indicated that he would do the same.

For decades, Young has been the beneficiary of the best health insurance available, which has been highly subsidized by the tax payers. He’s now on Medicare. However, in 2009, the plan most favored by members of Congress was Blue Cross Blue Shield, which covered a family for about $1,030 a month. Taxpayers paid $700 of that.

Young, and all the members of Congress, also have government-funded private doctors on the Hill available to them.

As a veteran of our armed services, Miller is eligible for tax funded healthcare.

As a state of Alaska official, Treadwell doesn’t have to pay anything for his insurance. The state health insurance plan is better than almost any plan available on the private market. And, it’s all funded by the citizens of Alaska.

Let me repeat that: As a state worker, Treadwell doesn’t have to pay any monthly premiums for a plan that’s better than nearly any plan normal Alaskans get or can buy themselves.

Funny how politicians always seem to know how to get theirs.

If the health care act is delayed and I can’t sign up for it, I’ll be spending roughly more than $12,000 than I would otherwise. And if only 10,000 Alaskans of comparable health, age and income sign up under ObamaCare, it will save us a collective $120 million.

That’s more than Alaska makes off of taxes from mining, cigarettes and alcohol combined.

The federal government shut down at midnight while the House continues to leverage the budget continuing resolution as a means of delaying ObamaCare. Federal workers all across the state will be affected. So will the elderly and the disabled. The stock market has already fallen as the result of instability. Most of Alaskans who have retirement accounts have at least some of it in the stock market. We’ve all lost money that we’ll probably never get back.

The health care law will not be delayed. Obama will not allow it.

So what’s happening is this: Some Republican politicians are playing partisan games with our money and our health.

I’m going to go to a broker tomorrow and sign up for health insurance through the exchanges, which will be available on January 1. For the first time, I’ll be able to buy affordable, private health insurance. I won’t be getting as good of a deal as Young, Treadwell or Miller.

But I won’t complain. I’m going to have better and more affordable health insurance. And I’ll pass on some of what I’m going to save to Alaska businesses.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


Joe Miller invited to speak at Nevada GOP meeting? What could possibly go wrong?

Politico is reporting that U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller has been invited to Las Vegas on Sept. 28 to speak at Nevada’s Republican Party’s annual Unity Dinner. The state GOP invited Miller to keynote the banquet, which will follow their state central committee meeting.

“Nevada shares some of the same challenges as Alaska, including vast federal ownership of land within the state,” Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said, according to Politico. “An alliance with western states such as Nevada will be critical in moving our vision of greater state control forward.”

Some Nevada Republicans might hope their GOP doesn’t have too much in common with Alaska’s GOP, at least in terms of annual party conferences.

At the last annual GOP meeting in Alaska, Miller and his crowd of Tea Party and Ron Paul supporters heckled and booed Sen. Lisa Murkowski and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, who was invited to speak at the banquet.

They were also able to take over leadership of the Alaska Republican Party by getting their members elected to party positions during the convention.

It was a heady time for them until their efforts ultimately unraveled when it was discovered that the coterie proved ineffective at raising money.  Tensions ran so high that the chair fired nearly every unpaid party functionary, even the ones who were elected, before skipping town and changing the locks on the doors to the Republican Party headquarters in Anchorage.

Peter Goldberg is the new party chair. He is from Brooklyn, New York. His mother is Jewish. He is now a practicing Mormon. He was raised in orphanages across the city because his father was in prison. He is also a retired Army colonel. Word is he is running things well.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


DNR Commish Dan Sullivan resigns; sets stage for U.S. Senate campaign

SullivanAs I wrote last night that he would do, Gov. Sean Parnell announced on Thursday morning that Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan submitted his resignation letter. Although he doesn’t say so in his letter, Sullivan is resigning effective Sept. 24 to run for the U.S. Senate Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Begich.

“As I explore new opportunities and challenges in the next phase of my life, I intend to seek ways to continue to serve my fellow Alaskans,” Sullivan wrote.

“As attorney general, Dan played a major role in the Choose Respect initiative and fought hard against federal overreach,” Parnell said in his announcement. “During his tenure as commissioner, Dan led the state’s efforts in resource development and permitting reform, and worked to resolve Pt. Thomson litigation – setting the stage for a natural gas pipeline.”

In his resignation letter Sullivan is more specific about his successes as both Alaska’s AG and as DNR commissioner:

  • Protecting Alaska’s most vulnerable through the Choose Respect Initiative;
  • Spearheading the Cook Inlet energy renaissance;
  • Promoting increased oil production and jobs through the More Alaska Production Act;
  • Accelerating the commercialization of North Slope gas for Alaskans’ benefit;
  • Resolving Point Thomson and jump starting this multi-billion dollar North Slope development;
  • Slashing permitting backlogs and streamlining the State’s regulatory system;
  • Going on offense on ANWR exploration; and
  • Effectively fighting against federal overreach into the lives of Alaskans and our economy.

Sullivan will be running in the primary against current Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and former Senate candidate Joe Miller. Treadwell is kicking off his campaign today.

Both Sullivan and Treadwell are considered more “establishment” candidates, to the extent there is an “establishment” in Alaska. Miller is, well, Miller.

Because the party makeup of the U.S. Senate might very well rest on this race, people who are watching are nervous that Treadwell and Sullivan will pave the way for Miller to claim victory in a Republican primary, as he did when he ran against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Between Treadwell and Sullivan, Karl Rove, for one, has deemed Sullivan to be the more winnable and is prepared to put money through at least one super PAC that he spearheaded to help ward off Tea Party candidates such as Miller.

Sullivan looks good on paper. He’s got a Harvard undergraduate degree and a law degree from Georgetown. He’s a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. He’s been in the United States Marine Corps since 1993, and just got back from reservist duty where he was on a counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan. He’s married to Julie Fate, whose mother is a respected Native Alaska leader and whose father is a former Fairbanks lawmaker.

However, unlike Treadwell, Sullivan has never run for office. Treadwell can fight tough and dirty if need be.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


North Pole refining Koch brothers likely to be involved in upcoming Alaska Senate race

The New York Times reports that the thumping conservatives — particularly tea party conservatives — have taken in the past few years isn’t scaring off the mega donating Koch brothers. The pair, along with their long list of advocacy groups, foundations and tangled knots of libertarian whatnots plan to be out in full force come the next election cycle.

According to the NYTs:

“(T)he brothers want their network to play a bigger role in cultivating and promoting Republican candidates who hew to their vision of conservatism, emphasizing smaller government and deregulation more than immigration and social issues. They are also seeking closer control over groups within their network, purging or downgrading those that did not deliver last year and expanding financing for those that performed well.”

The NYTs said that the pair hasn’t decided whether or not it will be involved in primaries. But it’s hard to see them resisting, considering that the primaries are where the battles for the Republican soul are fought, battles that are the raison d’être for the brothers.

What does this mean for Alaska? For one, the upcoming race against U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is expected to be one of the hottest in the country. And the Republican primary will be especially smoking. Rabid conservative Joe Miller and newly invented conservative stalwart Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell have both said that they’re all but in. And then there’s DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan, who is looking increasingly like the dark horse candidate.

All of this is perfect Koch brother fodder, and all of this will happen on the heels of a contract for royalty oil that the state approved with Koch brother owned Flint Hill Resources, which has a refinery in North Pole, Alaska.

Under the terms of the contract, the state will deliver a maximum of 30,000 barrels a day of its royalty oil to Flint HIlls for five years, beginning next year. The contract is worth an estimated $3.5 billion to $5.9 in revenue for the state and billions for the Koch brothers.

In addition to being one of the state’s largest refineries, Flint Hills is one of the Alaska Railroad Corporation’s largest customers. They also own a tank farm in the Port of Anchorage area by Ship Creek. And they hope to own a majority of the U.S. Senate, including a new Republican senator from Alaska.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com